Wednesday 3:15pm, the fitness centre, often referred to as the gym, is packed. Loud music booms out the most recent pop songs from the speakers, sweat drips down the faces of the occupants. People bob their heavy to the music, listening to their own tunes or the ones blasting from the speakers. Hard breathing from the hard work being done. This is a typical day within the ISKL gym. All coming together to the gym for one common goal: to workout. The reason behind them may differ, but together they do it.
A couple of students just generally like to sweat and keep fit. “I find that going to the gym keeps my mood up,” Ashleigh ‘16 says, sweating during her break from her hardcore training. She discloses that when she goes home without exercising she doesn’t study as well. “Keeps my studying more efficient, I feel,” she says.
“I have lots of athletes I look up to in life and I know that in order to be a better athlete you have to put time outside of your practice. Therefore, I’ve been trying to dedicate myself to come out here and get fit here so I can be better at the game,” Ashleigh ‘16 also states.
Dancer Cheyenne ‘17 has just recently started going to the gym. “After cultural convention we realized like how fit everyone else is.” Even being off dance season she has decided to keep fit. “I haven’t really been able to do that previously but this year I have determination to stay fit when I’m not dancing.” Already the past few weeks she has gone twice a week, along with running sessions at KDE.
Ms. Lam states her prime motivation for working out is, “It’s a good stress reliever, helps me feel strong and healthy.” The gym is seen as a great place to lose oneself mentally while being physically active. It can relieve stress, keep you fit and in general is good for your body.
“I say for a lot of guys, it’s a place for them to show off their gains,” she says half bemused.
When asked why Najib ‘18 goes to the gym, he simply states, “To get a really nice body.” Being a tease for a lot of his friends due to his constant obsession with his biceps and going to the gym, he doesn’t let it stop him from working out very frequently. “I started hitting the gym in 9th grade,” he says. “But I didn’t really know what I was doing and it’s not until I did personal fitness this year that I have started taking the gym seriously.”
ISKL athletes are not afraid to put themselves out there, and at times this may result to sport injuries. On average 8 people per day going to Jeyen, our very own physiotherapist, in order to rehabilitate their injured body parts. “My job is to rehab them and bring them back to the game as soon as possible,” he says. Josh ‘18 injured his leg not too long ago while playing rugby. He was trying to tackle but ended up hitting his knee and twisting it out of place. “The force tore my ligament,” he says. For his physio he is working on strengthening those muscles around his broken ligament. “Earlier in my rehab I was going almost every day, but nowadays I just go 3 days a week.” At our school there are several cases of such incidences, but Jeyen is far from concerned, laughing at the experiences and perhaps seeing in his mind’s eye the vibrant eyes of these students who do not regret a single action from their games.
“It’s a friendly environment and also a lot of my friends are in there so in between workouts I can also socialize.” Josh ‘18 says, hinting at a present social community at the gym where friend groups interact.
Another reason for coming to the gym, that might be new to some people, is for the action section of CAS. Apparently, students who are not doing a sport can go to the gym and work on their own personal training with a goal in mind to achieve this. “So you will gain something in your CAS and you will also gain something for your own health;” Jeyen states this prominent benefit.
“Well you can look outside. It’s always packed,” Jeyen says gesturing to the scene outside his office window. Even without looking out, the loud noise of hard work could be heard, as well as the loud music blasting from the speakers. The gym is mostly busy school days, but after school and even weekends are no exceptions. It’s not only students and faculty but a wider range of the ISKL community who make use of this facility. Jeyen mentions how alumni still come to use the gym, as well as some late working parents! “It’s a heavily used place.”